Blow the whistle, not the game.

Last night’s game was disappointing, but tremendous fun. There were Hokies everywhere. The atmosphere was lit up, just like the fans. We didn’t win, but we showed that we’re a better team than most people believed. Today, that is some consolation.

There are two quotes that explain the game better than I can:

“You can’t blame the officials,” [Coach Frank] Beamer said. “I thought it was kind of questionable. I thought it was a great play.”

When the officials call the game the way they did, it’s reasonable to blame them, but it’s not a complete explanation. This is the final piece:

“They played like the number one team in America in the sense that they capitalized on every mistake we made,” tailback Justin Hamilton said.

Turnovers or penalties, it didn’t matter. When we made a mistake, we paid for it. Usually we paid in points, but we always paid in some way detrimental. Against great teams, that leads to losing. Last night we didn’t have the killer instinct and USC did.

I still wore a Virginia Tech t-shirt today. Go Hokies!

Hokie football is back!

Now that the Phillies have nose-dived into oblivion, I’m turning my attention to football. Today, specifically, is about Hokies football. Tonight we kick off the college football season against #1-ranked USC.

I have no prediction for this game, but I’d like to consider one important point. USC is 2,700 miles away from Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. Blacksburg is 270 miles away. I wonder how that will impact the ratio of Hokies to Trojans among the 90,000+ fans expected to attend? Hmmm…

While we all ponder the glory that will be Virginia Tech football in 2004, I’ll fade out with Tech Triumph:

Tech Triumph

Techmen, we’re Techmen, with spirit true and faithful,
Backing up our teams with hopes undying;
Techmen, Oh Techmen, we’re out to win today,
Showing “pep” and life with which we’re trying;
V.P., old V.P., you know our hearts are with you
In our luck which never seems to die;
Win or lose, we’ll greet you with a glad returning,
You’re the pride of V.P.I.

Just watch our men so big and active
Support the Orange and Maroon. Let’s go Techs.
We know our ends and backs are stronger,
With winning hopes, we fear defeat no longer.
To see our team plow through the line, boys,
Determined now to win or die:
So give a Hokie, Hokie, Hokie Hi,
Rae, Ri, old V.P.I.

Go Hokies!

Johnny Depp is the Virginia Cavalier?

This just in: “The long-simmering rivalry between Virginia and Virginia Tech is being licensed.”

Officials at both state schools have agreed to allow the sale of products that, within the bounds of good taste, disparage each other. Coming soon to a store near you: clothes, pennants, posters and key chains that give either a black eye to the Blacksburg school or a jolt to the jaw of Mr. Jefferson’s University.

Money makes the world go around.

As one shirt soon to go on sale in Charlottesville puts it: “Friends don’t let friends go to Virginia Tech.”

As one soon to be on the shelves in Blacksburg replies: “Friends don’t let friends go to U.Va.”

Those shirts were available when I arrived in Blacksburg in August 1991. However, this is different because college students care about the licensing. And they don’t download music, and they don’t tear that label off the mattress.

Now that there are options, there’s this:

…Tech has allowed only one product to feature the schools’ rivalry at all: a small figurine of a Hokie football player “smushing” his Wahoo counterpart into the ground.

Please tell me we didn’t say “smushing”. It can’t be true. Either we said “crushing his little pea-sized brain” or we said nothing at all. I know it’s true.

Even the lure of money couldn’t coax Virginia Tech into the deal until we joined the Atlantic Coast Conference, as this next quote explains:

“I think the university took the stance that we didn’t want to play up the rivalry,” [Tech licensing director Locke] White said. “It was kind of conservative.”

For some reason, we’ve been looking to the past for our rival. Note to Tech: Virginia has been our main rival for years. Yes, we like to beat West Virginia, but steeeeeeeeeeeeeel. Any local observer in Blacksburg knows that Virginia inspires hatred like no other rivalry.

They refer to their school as The University and Mr. Jefferson’s University. They think we’re rednecks because we have cows. They think they’re brilliant and we’re the 13th grade.

This next quote proves their smugness:

Since both schools have to approve any design, slogan or insult that exploits the rivalry, it’s safe to say the exchanges won’t get too rough.

“I think the fans want this kind of thing,” [Steve Heon, U.Va.’s licensing director] said. “But Virginia’s got to have an opportunity to say, ‘Wait, that’s a little over the top.'”


Grading on a curve

I once scored a 16 on a test in freshman Chemistry in college. The dumb freshman chemistry, the one for business majors. Not the one for engineers. Here’s the course description:

“1016: INTRODUCTION TO CHEMISTRY – For students enrolled in curricula other than science or engineering. Chemical principles applied to material, environmental, and life sciences.”

If I’d scored a 20, I’d have passed. But I didn’t because I answered the question “On your honor, did you attend the optional lecture discussed in class?” Like a dope, I said no. The prof subtracted 4 points. He was an ass.